“Would you like a cocktail?” asks the waitress as I weigh up the options on the food menu. I ask for mocktail with a fruity, sweet taste. Several minutes later a bramble-inspired beverage in a tall glass is brought over.
It might sound like I’m being well behaved in the latest London speakeasy but I’m not; I’m supping mocktails amongst fellow upper class passengers in Virgin Atlantic’s new JFK Clubhouse.
Virgin launched its new Clubhouse at the New York airport last month, spending millions ($7m in fact) on the spectacular décor. At 10,000 sq ft it’s smaller than its Heathrow sibling but with its shimmering gold cylinders across the ceiling, its cool cocktail bar and maple wood billiards table it’s equally stylish.
There’s enough to keep passengers entertained for hours. The uptown cocktail bar serves so much more than a mocktail, and as mentioned, there’s a billiards table to keep the sportsperson in you amused. If it’s relaxation you’re after, there’s a number of comfortable chairs where you can stare out onto the runway – cocktail in hand, if so desired.
Ravenous from missing lunch in order to bag more time to hit the shops, I sit down for a rather formal dining experience in the Clubhouse’s brasserie, where I choose an excellent Jerusalem artichoke soup followed by a goat’s cheese salad. Sounds like I’m still being well behaved but I falter at the chocolate mousse, which tasted as divine as it looked.
What to do next? I’ve still got over an hour until my flight so I head to the entertainment area where I check my emails, social media sites and news sites. Half an hour whizzes by, time in fact for my treatment.
Much to my delight the Clubhouse includes a spa, where I’m soon transported to utter relaxation (bar the few flight announcements). Not only does the 450 sq ft spa offer a range of complimentary and paid-for Dr Hauschka treatments (massages, facials and manicures and the like available) but there’s also a Bumble and bumble hair salon, giving new meaning to travelling in style. I opt for a complimentary head massage, which the therapist combines with a soothing hand massage. Relaxed and sleepy, my five-star airport experience has left me more than ready to unwind on my overnight flight back to London.
Virgin Atlantic flies three times a day to and from New York JFK International. For more details about the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class service visit our Airline Guide. For the latest fares to New York visit our website or speak to an expert on 0208 045 4186. To keep up to date on Suzanne’s travels visit her blog at www.devotedtotravel.wordpress.com.